Monkey GlandA brief history and recipe.
Published: 29th July 2021
Monkey Gland – a brief history
The original New York Bar was indeed started in New York by famous American jockey Tod Sloan in 1911. Sloan eventually converted what was a bistro and renamed it New York Bar. Although American probation and World War One were still a number of years away, Tod and his business partner decided they would like to open a bar in Europe.
With his fame and popularity at the time, Sloan dismantled his New York Bar and had it shipped and rebuilt at 5 Rue Daunou, Paris, France. Sloane wanted to create a place where American tourists and members of Parisian creative community could socialise. It was in Paris that Dundee born bartender Harry MacElhone worked before travelling to America where he worked at a number of bars including the Plaza in New York. With the outbreak of World War One, Harry returned to Britain where he signed up to be part of the RAF. And although World War One meant the New York Bar became a popular drinking spot for the American Field Service Ambulance Corps, due to financial issues, Sloan was forced to sell the bar.
After World War One, Harry found work at Ciro’s Club in London, where he published his first cocktail book in 1921, Harry of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. With his experience of bartending in Paris, Harry was asked by bosses at the Ciro to establish a second Ciro Club in Deauville, France. By 1923, Harry was in a position to make an offer for his old work, the New York Bar in Paris. Once the deal was done, Harry changed the name of the bar to Harry’s New York Bar.
The Bar quickly gained a reputation for high jinks, inventive cocktails and was frequented by everyone from celebrities of screen and stage to local Parisians looking for a place to socialise and fraternise with the handful of American visitors who could be found at the bar on any night of the week. By 1940, German troops were advancing on Paris so Harry along with his son Andrew bricked up the alcohol in the cellar before escaping to Britain where he worked at the Ritz.
After World War Two, Harry and Andrew returned to Paris to find the bar relatively unscathed and opened the doors once again. Although Harry passed away in 1958, his legacy as a bartender, the drinks he created and of course the bar, are still revered to this day. Andrew and his grandson Duncan took over the running of the bar and it still remains in the family to this day and Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, which was originally released in 1930, is still an essential book for serious bartenders. Harry created a number of cocktails including Bloody Mary, Sidecar, Monkey Gland, Boulevardier, and an early form of French 75. The Monkey Gland is made using gin, orange juice, grenadine and absinthe and is named after the pseudo-scientific idea that grafting monkey testicle tissue into humans would increase longevity, an idea developed by the Russian doctor Serge Voronoff!
A twist of orange peel
Shake all ingredients well over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the twist of orange peel.